The following is a brief history of the Agricultural Conservation and County Extension Agent office in McIntosh County and the various progressive changes that have come about since the office was established.
On August 18, 1933, a meeting was held in the courthouse at Ashley, by a committee of farmers recommended by the Board of County Commissioners and appointed by C. F. Monroe, Director of Extension Service. The committee consisted of Adam Nagel, Jr., Jacob Friederick, Otto Nitschke, R. W. L. Linn and Anton J. Klein. This committee organized the temporary McIntosh County Wheat Production Control Association of the Agricultural Adjustment Administration and established the office in the McIntosh County courthouse with Robert J. Adam, Emergency Agricultural Assistant, as Secretary for the Association.
During the period August, 1933 to Jan. 6, 1936, the office administered the Wheat Production Control Program, Corn-Hog Control Program, Drought Emergency Cattle and Sheep Buying Program, Rye Production Control Program, and several other emergency programs, such as Feed, Seed and Grasshopper Control work; all of these programs were projected by the AAA, United States Department of Agriculture. On Jan. 6, 1936, the U. S. Supreme Court declared the AAA programs unconstitutional and the office was discontinued temporarily until Feb. 29, 1936.
Agricultural Conservation Association.
On Feb. 29, 1936, the Agricultural Conservation Act was signed by Pres. F. D. Roosevelt, thereby authorizing the present Agricultural Conservation Association Office to administer the agricultural conservation work in the county.
In November, 1936, McIntosh County voted to establish Agricultural Extension work, and the County Extension office was then created on July 1, 1937 by authorization of the Board of County Commissioners.
The two fields of work by cooperative agreement, are combined in one office, now known as the Agricultural Conservation Association and County Extension Agent’s Office.
$1,816,555,00 to County by AAA.
The AAA, by means of its various programs from August, 1933 to December, 1937, has brought into McIntosh County nearly 2 million dollars in benefit checks to the farmers and landowners. The amounts are: Wheat, $9Z2,001.00; Corn-Hog, $75,382.00; Cattle and Sheep Buying, $319,991.00; Rye, $6,044.00; and Agricultural Conservation and Range, $493,137.00, making a total of $1,816,555.00.
The Agricultural Extension Service functions in the county are to promote a better farm living, encourage cooperative farm projects and disseminate information on crops, livestock, soils, market and recreational activities.
Homemakers clubs are sponsoring better farm life and the following are active Homemaker’s Clubs in McIntosh County; the first club was organized in 1935.
Zealand Homemakers .................... 17 member Mrs. R. Delzer, President.
Venturia Homemakers ................... 12 members Miss Mary Kretschmar, President.
Sunshine Homemakers ................... 12 members Mrs. W. L. Hein, President.
Busy Bee Homemakers ................... 8 members Mrs. Wm. Baumann, President.
Prosperity Homemakers ................. 11 members Mrs. Emanuel Rieger, President.
Happy Day Homemakers .................. 10 members Mrs. Emanuel Vossler, President.
The 4-H Boys’ and Girls’ Clubs organized by the county agent, function as a means to teach cooperation, to put in practice information acquired, and to develop leadership.
Home Economics Clubs are:
Ambitious Circle ...................... 11 members Mrs. Arthur Weber, Local Leader.
Merry Maidens ......................... 13 members Miss Ellen Bettenhausen, Local Leader.
Happy-go-Lucky ........................ 8 members Miss Loretta L. Meidinger, Local Leader.
Moonlight Club ........................ 7 members Miss Esther Woehl, Local Leader.
Bright Stars .......................... 9 members Miss Esther Rudolf, Local Leader.
4-H Forwards .......................... 13 members Mrs. R. Delzer, Local Leader.
Sunshine Club ......................... 10 members Mrs. John Beck, Local Leader.
Busy Bees ............................. 4 members Mrs. B. J. Schnabel, Local Leader.
Hook and I. Club ...................... 5 members Mrs. X. Junge, Local Leader.
Wide Awake Club ....................... 15 members Miss Lillian Buchholz, Local Leader.
Jolly Workers Club .................... 19 members Miss Mildred Schaeffer, Local Leader.
Lowell Loyal Workers .................. 10 members Mrs. W. J. Linn, Local Leader.
Agricultural Clubs are:
Up and Coming Club .................... 17 members Jacob P. Eissinger, Local Leader.
Blue Ribbon Corn Club ................. 14 members Edward Rath, Local Leader.
Zeeland Grand Corn Club ............... 6 members Edwin A. Boschee, Local Leader.
Venturia Poultry Club ................. 13 members Ephraim J. Schrenk, Local Leader.
Lazy Bones Poultry & Garden Club ...... 27 members John J. McPherson, Local Leader.
Lowell Corn Club ...................... 10 members W. J. Linn, Local Leader.
Organizations cooperating in promoting Agricultural Conservation and Extension work are: Agricultural Conservation Board, Ed. Bauer, President, and Board of County Commissioners, George Wolff, Chairman. Robert J. Adam, County Extension Agent.
Soon after, the building proved too small, and a private house was used for additional room and five teachers with Mr. J. E. Engel as principal were employed. The course of study included the 9 th grade. In 1906 Mr. F. N. Fullerton was elected superintendent and under his administration the course of study was extended to include two years of high school work. In 1908, a schoolhouse with six rooms and basement was built. In 1910 the patrons voted to establish a high school, all but four votes being cast in favor of this. The enrollment was now 13 in high school and 225 in the entire school. Miss Louise Kruger was principal.
In 1911, J. H. Huizel was elected superintendent, and Miss Ada Buhlman as principal. The course of study was extended from five to fourteen units, science apparatus and reference books were purchased. In September, 1912, the state inspector visited the school and recommended it for classification as a third class high school. The enrollment was 34 in high school and 252 for the entire school. The class of 1913 published the Pinion, the first high school annual for Ashley.
On November 22, 1913, the schoolhouse burned, destroying all records, apparatus, and equipment. School was held in churches and private homes for the remainder of the year. In 1914 a twelve room building was built on the same site and in the fall of 1927, a modern one-room building was built to be used alternately for Manual Training and Home Economics. In 1937, owing to the lack of space a new modern building was erected at a cost of over $60,000.00 and the two other buildings razed.
The present high school enrollment is 143, and 357 for the entire school. The total number of graduates from Ashley High School including 1938 amounts to 386 pupils, the largest class being 1933 with 35 graduates.
The following persons have been superintendent of the Ashley High School, respectively: J. H. Huizel (1911-15), Mr. Olson (1915-16), E. T. Bettenga (1916-19), Earl Shaeffer (1919-20), J. J. Laemmele (1920-21), E. T. Smith (1921-23), E. E. Gloege (1923-24), Roland Joseph (1924-25), H. L. Woll (1925-35), J. A. Hieb (1935-37), John McPherson (1937-38).
One of the purposes for which the Ashley Woman’s Club organized was to found and maintain a library. Through their efforts it was founded and has been maintained through years of plenty and years of depression. The townspeople have readily responded to the various calls for funds. Through the years chain parties were instituted and, like the present day chain letters, died a natural death with little revenue forthcoming, food sales were held, tag days established, home talent plays presented and any other conceivable respectable way of obtaining funds was tried. Not all were successful from a financial view point. One "affair" was called the "Festival of the Nations." Several women spent three or four days assisting a director train about 60 small children. The night for the presentation was bitter cold and stormy. Many of the cast were unable to struggle through drifted snow to the opera hall, and the audience was scant and scattered. When bills were paid and profits totaled, it was found we had cleared the munificent sum of fifty cents. In contrast to this when home talent plays were presented, the net profit was in the neighborhood of $100.00.
ASHLEY SCHOOL BOARD. Back row, left to right: Gust Brosz, clerk, Sam Krause, treasurer.---Front row, left to right: Gottlieb Klipfel, director; Otto Becker, president; E. W. Schock, director.
ASHLEY SCHOOL BAND. Organized November, 1937. From second grade pupils to and including High School pupils. Total number in organization 52.
To begin with books were donated and the Ashley State Bank furnished a room. Mrs. H. P. Remington and W. L. Johnson listed and shelved the books and the latter acted as librarian. This was in 1913, 25 years ago. The next year both the library and the bank had grown and it became necessary to find new quarters for the books. 1915 found them housed in the telephone office, now the dental office of Dr. Cohen. Mrs. John Meidinger then Beth Mensing, acted as librarian, and when the phone office moved to the First National Bank building the next year the library moved with it. The following year 292 books
In 1922 some one conceived the idea of dividing the club in two sections and conduct a "book getting" contest. A date was set when the books were to be brought to the library. At times it was hard to decide whether this was a drive to get books or whether it might develop into a civil war. Net results were some injured feelings and 1500 books.
The A. E. F. Study Club at different times donated books, especially juvenile books. Interested individuals donated from their private libraries and the club bought with what resources they could muster. Generous donations were made by the City Council from year to year, and thus the library has grown.
In 1933 orders were issued to vacate the southwest corner room and transfer to the southeast corner room in the court house. New shelving was put in at this time, the club purchasing the material and C. W. A. labor constructed the shelves. A magazine rack has been donated by Dr. Campbell and a desk pen holder set by Zim’s Jewelry Co. Mrs. Carl Tange presented the club with an original oil painting of Lake Hoskins, this hangs on the south wall of the library behind the librarian’s desk. Another treasure which is housed in the library is one of the first newspapers printed in McIntosh County, this was presented by Mrs. Lillie Godfrey Moore of Linton and hangs on the east wall. It is framed in double glass so that either side may be read.
Through constant useage many books became so badly in need of repair that they were about to be discarded. The past few months were fortunate ones in that W. P. A. and N. Y. A labor was available to repair these volumes. They are cleaned and rebound and go back into circulation almost better than when new.
In February, 1938, the library was thoroughly catalogued and a modern card index system instituted. The state W. P. A. office furnished an experienced worker along this line and with the library board, librarian and her assistant the work was completed.
Those serving on the board at present are Mrs. E. H. Maercklein, Mrs. Max A. Wishek and Mrs. C. C. Campbell. Mrs. H. L. Woll followed Mrs. Piper as librarian and upon her removal to LaMoure she was succeeded by Mrs. Margaret Junge with Mrs. L. C. Mensing as assistant. The library is open Wednesday and Saturday afternoons from 2 to 5 o’clock. Country school teachers as well as pupils from the local school find the library a source of much helpful material. Some sections are devoted to fiction and a goodly portion to reference and required reading lists.
The State Library Commission has been helpful at all times with suggestions and has often sent in cases of books to be used for a period of one or two months.
Occasionally through the years some one would suggest that steps be taken to secure the cooperation of Andrew Carnegie and have a fine large library built. Investigation revealed that certain requirements must be met as to rules, regulations and local financing which seemed impossible for a community the size of Ashley, so with the splendid cooperation of the City Council, townspeople and school children the Women’s Club has continued to develop the library little by little until now there are about 500 people borrowing from the 7000 volumes acquired. Several current magazines are subscribed for and may be perused at the reading table or taken home for short periods. The weekly circulation averages about 150 readers increasing throughout the school year and diminishing during the summer months.
Alex Johnstone became next Director and continued as such for a number of years. About 1918, Russel Stevens took over the leadership, followed by Mr. McKay membership then increased to about 30 members.
In 1923, the Ashley Fire Department began sponsorship of the band and it was then called Ashley Firemens Band. E. E. Gloege became director for a number of years. Band coats and caps were purchased for all the members. It was during the time Mr. Gloege was director that the band was represented in the State Band Convention held at Valley City.
In 1931, Ashley was without a band. In 1932, Ray Lewis, Ashley Photographer at that time, organized a band and became its director. In the summer of 1933, Ashley was host to the First Annual Band Picnic held at Lake Hoskins. A crowd of 7,000 people enjoyed the music furnished by the fifteen bands gathered there from surrounding towns. The exhibition by the Aberdeen Drum and Bugle Corps was enthusiastically received. Band Picnics were held at the following places during the next four years, Frederick, S. D., Linton, N. D., Oakes, N. D., and Britton, S. D. The Ashley Band attended all of these conventions except the last one at Britton because of inclement weather.
In 1934, Alex Johnstone again became director of the band until the fall of 1935, when the present director Walt Schmidt became its leader. Following is a list of the band members at the present time:
Walt Schmidt, Director; Enoch Wahl, President; Cornets, Enoch Wahl, Emil Spitzer, Carrold Meidinger, Andy Geiszler; Trombone, Albert Lippert, Mrs. John W. Meidinger, Esther Spitzer; Baritone, Ed. Doerr; Clarinet, Joe Stabler, Minnette Meidinger; Saxophone, Bernard Kelber, Raymond Keim, Ervin Spitzer, Herbert Schauer; Bass, Gottlieb Schauer; Snare Drum, F. F. Bender; Bass Drum, Adolph Thurn, Secretary and Treasurer.
Back row, left to right: Walt Schmidt, conductor; F. F. Bender, snare drum; Adolph Thurn, bass drum; Wilbert Goehring, cornet; Philip Kelber, baritone.---Second row from back, left to right: J. D. Stabler, clarinet; Bernard Kelber, saxophone; Edward Doerr, baritone; Enoch Wahl, tuba; Walter Doerr, alto; Irwin Maier, alto; Andrew E. Geiszler, cornet.---Third from back, left to right: Donald Jung, saxophone;
Irvin Spitzer, saxophone; R. Keim, saxophone; Albert Lippert, trombone;
Esther Spitzer, trombone; Beth Meidinger, trombone; Carrold Meidinger, cornet; Emil Spitzer, cornet; Ludwig Schlabsz, cornet.---Front row, left to right: Emily Schauer, clarinet; Minnette Meidinger, clarinet;
Edwina Weber, clarinet; Lorraine Krause, saxophone; Florence Schaeffer, saxophone; Elsie Moench, saxophone; Delores Huether, cornet; Eunice Schmidt, cornet.
Edward "Peanuts" Rau.---Back row, left to right: Adolph "Poster" Thurn, manager; Lyle Morris, pitcher; Albert "Lipp" Lippert; John "Rags" Doerr; Andrew "High" Kessel; John "Gabby" Oster; Emil "Dick" Schrenk, and Joe Stabler, score keeper.
Early records indicate that baseball has been played in Ashley since about 1890. In the early days the players were without suits, gloves or mitts of any kind. One bat and one ball comprised the full equipment, but the game was just as full of thrills as now, and regardless of the hardships of travel the teams
The story is told that on one occasion the only ball in town had been lost in practice and search as they would it could not be found, so a man was dispatched on horseback to Ellendale on a Saturday, returning in time with a ball for the game on Sunday.
Some of the players in the early days were Paul Kretschmar, J. C. "Cliff" Larimer, Christ Weber, Art Lewis, Frank Ball, Otto Kretschmar, Bill Lewis, Richard Johnstone, Tom Johnstone, Lew Tickner, John Ball and Ort Ogden.
The ball diamond at one time was situated on the site now occupied by the Town Hall, Lutheran Church, Lutheran Parsonage, North American Cream Station and Fred Hindemith. Later it was moved to where the School House is now located; then North of the town on the site now owned by Ed Rau as a residence; a move to its present site, then back to town and finally back to the Fair Grounds where it is now located.
We are able to find a record of a game between Lowell and Ashley played July 4, 1901, Ashley winning 26 to 16. Those playing on the Lowell team were Rich Johnstone, O. E. Ogden, Thomas Johnstone, Alex Johnstone, R. C. Miles, F. D. McCartney, H. D. Piper, E. T. Clyde and "Jot" Lewis. Those playing on the Ashley team were O. V. Lewis, W. Lewis, M. Ricker, Theo. Landmahn, Walter Beveridge, P. T. Kretschmar, John Williams, Christ Weber and Joe Stember.
In about 1910 the first uniforms were purchased, gloves and other equipment were used.
ASHLEY BASEBALL TEAM --- 1904 --- Back Row, left to right: John Williams; Dr. F. W. Maercklein (in hat), manager; Walter Beveridge; E. T. Clyde.---Middle row: R. R. Hedtke; Dr. E. H. Maercklein.---First row: Alex Johnstone; Theodore Heinrich; George Leiser; Otto Kretschmar (mascot).---Sitting: Paul T. Kretschmar.
Some of the players on the Ashley team since 1910 were John, Henry and Carl Heuther, Joe, Andy and John Tschetter, Ray and Roy Holcomb, Dr. E. H. and Wm. B. Maercklein, Alvin Huhn, Fred Breitmeyer, Ed Mayer, Joe Mayer, Ed. John, Henry and August Doerr, Ellis Johnstone, Wm. Schulz, John Eisenbeis, Stanley and Robert McGogy, Alex and John Gregory, "Jolly" Herr, Chas. Lamb, Theo. Heinrich, R. E. Klipfel, Emil Mayer, Chas, Johnstone, John Schenk and Wm. Weisser, all of whom played before the 1937 team.
BASEBALL PICTURE of 1912 Standing: Edward Maercklein.---Sitting, left to right: John Huether; Joe Tschetter; Ray Holcomb; Wm. Maercklein;
(name unknown); Royal Holcomb; Dr. E. H. Maercklein.----Front row, left to right: Alex Gregory; John Gregory; John Eisenbeis.
FRANK PIPER POST NO. 53 American Legion.
Bottom row, left to right: R. Weber; Wm. Weisser; R. G. Mensing; E. H. Maercklein; E. P. Treick; J. W. Meidinger; Jake Bender; A. E. Tschetter: Jacob Glaesman; Gust. Pfahl.---Second row, left to right: Gott. J. Iszler; J. J. McPherson; Victor Frankfurth; Jacob J. Jenner; Christ Rall; Jake Nill; John Huether; T. H. Schluter.---Upper row, left to right: Fred Dewald; Wm. Jenner; Andrew Schauer; Gustav Dockter; August Thurn; Jacob Mayer; Fred Breitmeyer; Richard Schaeffer; Joe Tschetter.
Early in the fall of 1919 a number of veterans of the World War desiring to preserve the memories and incidents, their associations and comradships formed during their period of service, met and asked for a charter for a post of the American Legion to be established at Ashley. The first name chosen was that of "McIntosh County Post" which was later changed to Frank Piper Post in honor of the first man from this vicinity to lose his life in the Great Struggle.
Post membership for the year 1919 included 36 members: Fred Breitmeyer, Christian Babitzke Henry M. Buchholz, Jacob Becker, Theo. J. Breitling, Wm. H. Carpenter, Emanuel Dorheim, Fred H. Eisenbeis, Fred D. Eisenbeis, John J.
Followed a period of activity, the Post sponsoring program, on national holidays, Junior baseball and water carnivals. In 1932 the District baseball tournament for Junior Baseball was held at Ashley by the Post. In 1933 the post had attained such prominence in the district that we were honored by having J. W. Meidinger chosen as delegate to the National Convention held in Chicago. During the year 1934 our Commander, R. G. Mensing was chosen as District Deputy Commander for the newly formed Fifth District.
Always interested in the welfare of children, the Post has for the past several years financed the insurance premiums for toys on the Ashley High School football and basketball teams.
Last project started by the Post before this book goes to press is the formation of a Squadron of Sons of the American Legion, and the sponsoring of, on March 15, a Legion Birthday party, for the members of the Post and their sons.
In 1937, being desirous of having their own burial plot the Post bought a lot in the Ashley Cemetery.
Present officers: Commander, E. H. Maercklein, Vice Commander, Emanuel Dorheim; Adjutant, R. G. Mensing; Finance Officer, J. W. Meidinger; Chaplain, E. P. Treick; Sergeant at Arms, Wm. Weisser. Membership 1938, 43 members.
THE AMERICAN LEGION AUXILIARY
Back row, left to right: Katie Jenner, Lydia Schauer; Bertha Tschetter, Lydia Roeszler; Ida Schock; Mary Eisenbeis; Marie Bendewald, Emma Doerheim.---Second row, left to right: Pauline Dockter, Helen Huether; Mary Straub; Emma Weisser; Beth Meidinger; Mary Tschetter; Christina Dewald.---Third row, left to right: Gertrude Treick; Ella Maercklein; Kate Mensing; Caryl Linn; Millie Johnson; Elsie Pfahl; Bertha Froh; Ida Swanson.---Front row, left to right: Bell Schluter; Carrie Thurn; Emily Schauer; Rose Maethner; Minnette Meidinger; Bertha Schaeffer; Mable Farley.
The American Legion Auxiliary Unit of the Frank Piper Post No. 53 was organized on the afternoon of June 3 rd , 1932, at the home of Mrs. J. W. Meidinger. Mrs. G. Olgeirson, Third District Committeewoman, and Mrs. Amelia Morris, National Vice President were present at this meeting. There were eighteen charter members and consisted of Nannie Piper, Prudence Mensing, Nina Wishek, Rosina Becker, Ida Schock, Mary Straub, Kate Mensing, Mary Rudow, Millie Johnson, Mary Eisenbeisz, Bertha Pfahl, Emelia Eisenbeisz, Bertha Schaeffer, Elizabeth Fischer, Katharina Reuther, Mary Ruemmele, Esther Tange and Beth Meidinger. The first officers were President, Beth Meidinger; Vice President, Elizabeth Fischer; Secretary, Kate Mensing; Treasurer, Ida Schock; Chaplain, Mary Rudow.
These women formed this organization that they might serve as "our boys" served with no thought to self but to God and Country. They pledged their support to the American Legion, the disabled veteran and his family and to the education of the war orphan.
Poppy Day is observed each year, not only in Ashley but by the members of this Unit who live in Zeeland and Venturia. The proceeds of these sales are used for childwelfare. The Unit has had one or two assigned children each year, buying necessary clothing and remembering them at Christmas with gifts. Christmas bags and clothing was sent to children of needy veterans; layettes given to expectant mothers, and one of the assigned children given aid by an eye specialist.
Some of the activities of the Unit are, assisted the American Legion with programs on Memorial and Armistice Day, sponsored Birthday Party for Legion, held a carnival on Armistice day and also served dinner and supper, raffled a cedar chest, occasional chair and a quilt, gave dances and various other amusements to raise funds.
Poppy Poster Contests have been sponsored in the grades of the Ashley, Venturia and Zeeland schools and contests on Americanism in the Ashley High School.
The Unit has purchased dishes and silverware, six dozen of each, to use at their suppers and parties. These are kept in a cabinet, a gift from the Legion, in their meeting room in the Ashley State Bank. The Auxiliary meets the second Monday of each month at eight o’clock, two members serving on the program committee and two on the lunch.
The present officers of the Unit are: President, Rose Maethner; Vice President, Bertha Froh; Secretary, Beth Meidinger; Treasurer, Gertrude Treik; Chaplain, Emma Weisser, Sergeant-at-arms, Elsie Pfahl.
On January 23 rd , 1938, the Unit members met to have their picture taken but due to the severe weather, many were unable to be there. The members not in the picture are: Martha Maier, Lydia Meidinger, Minnie Beck, Anne Boschee, Lydia Fuhrer, all of Zeeland, N. D., Elizabeth Rall, Lydia Nill, Pauline Heuther, Bertha Schauer, Louise Pfahl, Lina B. Hite, Gertrude Klaus and Elizabeth Maier.
FRANK PIPER SQUADRON NO. 53 Sons of the American Legion.
Back row, left to right: Ryley Huether; Reinhold Iszler; Orville Dockter; Albert Jenner.---Second row from back, left to right: Erwin Bender; Wilmer Rall; Roland Becker; Carrold Meidinger; Ivan Nill;Herb. Schauer; Floyd Weisser.---Third row from back, left to right: Quentin Dockter; Harry Jenner; Raymond Iszler; Leslie Dockter; LeRoy Mayer; Wilbert Thurn; Rubin Dewald; Virgil Jenner.---Front row, left to right: Robert Weisser; Alvin Grueneich; Leo Grueneich; Douglas Weber; Calford Mayer; Edward Treick; Robert Mensing.
The American Legion, one of the largest and most powerful non-political organizations the world has ever known was established following the World War. Their objectives are to aid the disabled veteran and his family, to promote peace and, through teaching, better citizenship, to foster the principles of justice, freedom and democracy.
As "Time Marches On" the members of the Legion will drop out one by one to go to the land from which no man returns; those who remain will be willing in spirit but physically unable to carry on.
Realizing that reinforcements in the near future must be summoned to fill their depleting ranks the American Legion conceived the organization of the Sons of the Legion.
The Frank Piper Post No. 53 of the American Legion decided at their December meeting that such an organization in Ashley should be perfected. To a committee of three, namely: R. G. Mensing, Richard Schaeffer and Wm. Weisser, was assigned the task of arousing the interest of eligible young boys sufficiently to insure the formation of such an organization. They worked with enthusiasm and on February 7, 1938, the charter application roll was declared closed with a charter membership roll of thirty-three members, namely: Robert P. Mensing, Edward L. Treick, Milton Schaeffer, Floyd and Robert Weisser, Albert Jenner, Carrold B. Meidinger, Alvin and Leo Grueneich, LeRoy Glaesman, Leslie, Quentin and Orville Dockter, Calford and LeRoy Mayer, Wilbert Thurn, Ivan Nill, Douglas Weber, Roland Becker, Wilmer Rall, Herbert Reuther, Harry and Virgil Jenner, Rubin Dewald, Herbert Schauer, Erwin Bender, Raymond and Reinhold Iszler, Clarence Wetzel, Clifford and Rubin Hummel, Waldemere Tschetter and Ryley Heuther.
At the present writing election of officers has not been held. Meetings will be arranged, work planned and before long the Sons of the Legion will be an active, history making organization.
First row at bottom, left to right: Mrs. Walter Froh; Martha Thurn; Mrs. C. C. Campbell; Mrs. E. H. Maercklein; Esther Spitzer; Mrs. Ed. Doerr; Mrs. H. C. Wishek.---Second row, left to right: Mrs. Albert Hiller; Mrs. Oscar Baumann; LaVera Nagel; Evelyn Brosz; Ann Baumgaarden; Mrs. Wm. Baumann; Mrs. I. A. Mackoff; Mrs. R. I. McGogy; Mrs. John D. Roehl; Ida Hoffman.
Ashley’s feminine population could not just sit idly by, to leave to the men alone the responsibility of shaping and financing Ashley’s Golden Jubilee celebration. In their determination to do their part, as did the women of pioneer days, a group of about twenty women gathered at the local firehall on September 9, 1937, to discuss and form a woman’s organization for this purpose. From this nucleus of twenty members, it grew by leaps and bounds until it now numbers over 175 women. In a search for a suitable name for the organization, much interest was aroused, with the result that it subsequently chose the name of "Jubilee Dames".
At a meeting an September 16, 1937, the women gathered and formally organized what is now known as the Jubilee Dames. Officers were elected with the following result: President, Mrs. E. H. Maercklein; Vice President, Esther Spitzer; Secretary, Martha Thurn; Treasurer, Mrs. Walter Froh. Besides the officers a permanent contact committee was appointed, consisting of three members, including Mrs. C. C. Campbell, Mrs. Homer Wishek and Mrs. Ed. Doerr, the duty of this committee being to establish and maintain a constant contact between the Dames and the board of directors of Ashley’s Golden Jubilee.
A set of rules and regulations were adapted. Membership fees were set at fifty cents per member, while the ladies who prior to the organization of the Dames had joined the Jubilee Club, were eligible without an entry fee. Each meeting is opened with a song and closed with a social hour. Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of each month, with an attendance of twenty-five members necessary to constitute a quorum. A system of fines was also adopted, five cents for tardiness and ten cents for absence.
In keeping with the spirit of the fiftieth anniversary celebration, and in honor of the pioneer women of this community, it become a rule that members must wear either a shawl, an old-fashioned apron, or both, at their meetings. An emblem, a replica of the milk jug, so common among the pioneer farm women, was adopted by the members. Carved in miniature out of a brown colored wallboard and emblazoned with the legend: "1888 -- Jubilee Dames -- 1938" in letters of gold, it is very neat, attractive and distinctive.
Efforts of the Jubilee Dames to raise money were very successful. A major money-raising event was planned for each month, with different chairman in charge each time. The ladies sponsored a White Elephant Sale, Old Time Dance and Basket Social, Pancake Party, St. Valentine Card Party, a St. Patrick Dance as well as others.
THE ASHLEY WOMAN’S CLUB
Prior to the year 1912, numerous societies had been created, flourished and later passed into oblivion, but no non-sectarian society for woman alone had been started. The Thimble Bee, pioneer church Aid Society, filled the need to a certain extent but not entirely. The ladies of the town wished for a more civic organization which would sponsor a library. And so with this in mind, a group of ladies met at the
suggestion of Mrs. E. M. Harrison in her home on April 12 th , 1912, and founded what is known as the Ashley Woman’s Club. Officers were elected, committees formed and the activities of the club began.
In the first year a public lawn fete was given and the members with their friends and families worked zealously for its success and success it was, though not considered financially so in the present day, as the total profits reached only $6.00.
In succeeding years, three Lyceum courses and three Chautauquas were sponsored. During the War period, the actual activities of the club suffered somewhat as the members busied themselves doing Red Cross work and assisting in Canning Demonstrations. At this time the club purchased a Liberty Bond.
Previous to the organization of the local American Legion Post, the club had charge of the arrangements for Memorial Day Services. After the war, before the local American Legion Auxiliary was in existence, the Club had a Department of Co-operation with the War Veteran under whose category they sent jelly, gifts and an afghan knitted by Mrs. Prudence Mensing, to the Veterans Hospital in Fargo, along which line it gave them pleasure for many years to remember their Gold Star Mother, Mrs. Nannie Piper, with plants or flowers on Memorial Day.
The tenth anniversary was celebrated by a banquet in the home of Mrs. Theo. Heinrich, at which the husbands were guests; the fifteenth anniversary was observed by a banquet served in the home of Mrs. Forest. On the twentieth anniversary, the ladies met and planted a Washington Elm on the Court House lawn, in commemoration of Washington’s Bi-Centennial Anniversary and on the same evening were entertained by Mrs. W. L. Johnson with her pictorial history of the club. The twenty-fifth anniversary was celebrated with a banquet served by Mrs. Maerck. Thirty-four members and guests attended. At this time a group picture was taken. Devious methods, as the summary will show, have been used to earn money for the club but one of the most lucrative was the giving of home talent plays, five in number.
In 1933 the pleasure of giving a reception in honor of Mrs. William Langer, the first Lady of North Dakota, was accorded the club. At three different times the Convention of the Sixth District of Federated Clubs of North Dakota, has been held in Ashley and the body entertained by members and gracious friends of the club.
The activities of the club have been many and varied and those not actively engaged in club work may be interested in reading a list which will show the versatility of its achievements. They donated to the Drouth and Flood, Belgian and Near East Relief Fund; gave musical entertainments; collected tinfoil for the benefit of the Shriners Hospital; gave carnivals; sponsored art and history contests in the local school; organized a Bazooka Band, erstwhile known as the Kitchen Cabinet Orchestra, which gave renumerative performances in Wishek and Ashley; prepared and served the first Alumni Banquet given by the High School and subsequent banquets of like nature; sponsored several Health Clinics for Pre-school children in co-operation with the Department of Public Health; purchased pictures of Lincoln and Washington, now hanging in the McIntosh County Court Room; gave innumerable food sales and teas; white elephant sale and antique shows were sponsored; style shows as early as 1915 and 1916 were featured with two or more in the years of 1935 and 1936; made and raffled a quilt; filled Xmas bags and distributed toys to needy children; assisted families whose home had been destroyed by fire; entertained three Library Conventions; framed and hung in the Library, the first paper published in McIntosh County which was donated by Mrs. Lily Godfrey; aided several girls in receiving an education by sponsoring their loans from the Student Loan Fund of the Sixth District of Woman’s Clubs and numerous other activities of less importance.
The Club was honored by having one of its first members Mrs. E. H. Maercklein, elected as President of the Sixth District.
As mentioned before, the Women’s Club was organized with the thought of establishing a Library and with about seven thousand volumes on the shelves, they feel their efforts have not been in vain. A history of the Library is given elsewhere in this book.
The members and Officers of the Club are: President, Mrs. Margaret Junge; Vice President, Mrs. W. E. Schmidt; Secretary, Mrs. E. W. Schock; Treasurer, Mrs. E. C. Huttman; Auditor, Mrs. J. W. Meidinger; Miss Margaret Cheeseboro, Mrs. C. C. Campbell, Mrs. Edward Doerr, Mrs. Lina B. Hite, Mrs. W. L. Johnson, Mrs. Wm. Kretschmar, Mrs. L. C. Mensing, Mrs. J. McPherson, Mrs. R. G. Mensing, Mrs. I. A. Mackoff, Mrs. E. H. Maercklein, Mrs. Jennie Ruemmele, Mrs. Edward Treik, Mrs. Homer Wishek, Mrs. Max Wishek, Mrs. H. L. Wall, and Honorary Members, Mrs. Nina Wishek, Mrs. H. H. Drews and Mrs. F. L. Watkins.
TA-TA-POCHON CAMP FIRE GIRLS
Camp Fire Girls organization was organized during the month of April, 1919. Mrs. M. J. George was the organizer and was the first guardian. It was given the name of Ta-Ta-Pochon.
Mrs. George was able to be guardian far only a short time as she left Ashley soon after the organization was perfected. The next guardian was Miss Laura Piper, now Mrs. Guy Lewis, followed by Mrs. Wilbur Linn as the third guardian, serving about two years. Mrs. Leigh Farley was the fourth guardian and served as such for seven years. Following is a list of the various members of the organization from time to time: Ruth Beveridge, Lillian Buchholz, Mildred Drews, Molly Dorfman, Ella Eisenbies, DeLoris Eisenbies, Rose Eisenbies, Jean Farley, Lois Gloege, Irene Johnstone, Gertrude Kelber, Vera Kenny, Susan Kelber, Myrtle Kenny, Zella Larimer, Madge Larimer, Dorothy Maercklein, Florence Maercklein, Eunice Miles, Marion Miles, Elnor Madison, Margaret Pudwill, Sarah Rubin, Rebecca Rubin, Ottilie Reile, Evelyn Strauss, Mildred Schaeffer, Ruth Reiman, Agnes Reiman and Anne Weber.
The Camp Fire Girls is an organization to promote good health, habits, citizenship and good moral habits. There are three groups: woodgatherers, firemakers and camp fire girls. The girls are promoted after they earn a certain number of Honor Beads, which may be earned by keeping their clothes closet in order, by keeping their dresser drawers in order, sleeping with windows open, keeping their room in order, washing dishes, making beds, cleaning chickens, changing a baby, first aid care of burns, cuts, and bruises, and
The group met once a week at the homes of the different members, and the first thing on the program was usually a hike, then a short business meeting and songs. On the hikes it was customary to study nature, the names of birds and flowers and any other interesting or odd thing which was seen.
The high light of the year was the week spent camping. This was usually spent on the shore of Lake Hoskins. The first day was spent setting up camp, while the rest of the week was spent in hiking, swimming and playing games. The usual routine for the day was up at 6 a.m., setting up exercises, breakfast, bed making, setting camp in order, hike, dinner, one hour rest, swimming, games then supper, swimming again or games, the songs, then to bed. Funds for the camping equipment was raised by the girls in various ways.
After seven years Mrs. Farley was unable to continue her work, and as no successor could be found the organization disbanded, however the good things learned and the pleasures and hardships shared will never be forgotten.
In September 1933, sponsored by the Ashley Womans Club, a troop of Girl Scouts was organized by Mrs. W. L. Johnson. She was ably assisted by Mrs. H. L. Wall, Mrs. S. J. Fischer and Mrs. J. W. Meidinger. About eighteen young girls joined the Scouts of Service troop and held their first meetings at the home of different members. Later, through the courtesy of Mr. L. Rubin, the Scouts were permitted to hold their weekly meetings in the room beneath the present postoffice quarters.
Many were the good times enjoyed there and many were the lessons learned which developed character and womanhood. Sewing, singing and craft work were stressed during the winter months. Outdoor activities were a part of the program when weather permitted and hikes were frequent and much enjoyed. Mothers were invited to special meetings, one, in particular, being a candle light ceremony when badges were presented.
Memorial Day the Scouts made their first public appearance in uniforms. They assisted with the ceremonies at both cemeteries.
The following fall, 1934, the Scouts were under new leadership, Mrs. Leo Cohen having been persuaded to carry on as leader. Miss M. LeVecesque, now Mrs. R. Delzer of Zeeland, and Mrs. Ed. Doerr assisted in carrying out a program similar to the one of the previous year. Membership increased this year and the Ashley State Bank kindly offered the use of a room when the former meeting place was no longer available.
Nature study was given considerable time and was augmented with hikes to nearby groves and Kisslingberry Lake.
Meetings the next year were held occasionally with Miss Anne M. Weber in charge. The troop was not able to register at that time and finally disbanded.
Times were not so prosperous in 1934 and things seemed at a stand still. Mr. Larimer was unable to finance the project alone and a call for aid resulted in donations from the Womans Club, American Legion Auxiliary, American Legion and individuals. With the financial part taken care of Mr. Larimer set about the task of the erection. A competent man by the name of Jacob Fey was secured and the work went forward and was completed in 1935.
The memorial stands on a cement base and is about five foot high. The inscribed rocks are set together with cement. On top of the five foot body is a dome or pillar of small round rocks topped by a cannon ball rock.
The North Dakota Highway No. 11 runs east and west just south of the memorial. The North Dakota State Highway Department considered the memorial of sufficient interest to place markers on either side a quarter mile distant and a larger one at the site.
Full credit for this lasting memorial to McIntosh County Pioneers is due Herbert M. Larimer.
The names appearing on the rocks incorporated within the structure are: Fred Dobler, Paul Kreschmar, R. W. Linn, T. R. Shimmin, B. Iszler, Jr., J. H. Wishek, G. W. Lilly, George Roth, Daniel Grosz, G. Delzer, C. S. Johnstone, C. D. Johnson, John Ogden, John Feil, Karl Baumann, Otto Miller, W. Piper, James Briggs, George Rott, R. A. Larimer, J. H. Schaeffer, Adam Meidinger, C. Weber, J. A. T. Bjornson, A. W. Farley, A. T. Wiles, James Beveridge, Peter Riedlinger, Alex Giedt, C. V. Basye, Christ Retzer, Jacob Spitzer, John Lippert, John C. Williams, Theodore Castor, Christ Meyer, Christ Becker, A. M. Farley, W. G. Lawhead, E. K. McGogy, R. C. Miles, C. C. Morrell.
Early records indicate that about 1915 J. C. Goll was elected Chief and W. L. Johnson Secretary, to be followed by A. W. Meidinger as Chief and M. J. Ruemmele, Secretary, Mr. Meidinger serving as Chief until January 2, 1925, to be succeeded by J. W. Meidinger who has held the office until the present time. Mr. Ruemmele acted as Secretary from 1917 until 1933 and was succeeded by Adolph Thurn, who has served continuously until the present time.
ASHLEY FIRE DEPARTMENT Back row, left to right: Otto Feil; Emil Bertsch; Henry Doerr; Wm. Weisser; Hy. Wolf; Albert Lippert; Ernest Oberlander. Middle row, left to right: Joe Vanorny; F. E. Bender; Adam Walker; Andy Kessel; Enoch Wahl; Gottlieb Schauer; Andy Sackman; Gust Brosz; C. C. Spitzer; B. J. Weiler; G. C. Schock. First row (sitting left to right: Ferdie Brosz; A. W. Meidinger; D. P. Erlenbusch; J. W. Meidinger, chief; Adolph Thurn; Ed. Rau; W. L. Hein; Gottlieb Klipfel.
The department can be congratulated on the fact that since 1917 no fire has ever been permitted to spread further than the building in which the fire originated and that during the past 10 years the total fire loss in Ashley has been less than $2000.00.
The Ashley Fire Department are members of the North Dakota Firemen’s Association and for several years sponsored a band, they also sponsored the Ashley Male Quartett which at the North Dakota Firemen’s Association meeting at New Rockford in 1933 was made the official quartett of the State Association.
The members of the department serve without compensation, except when actually engaged in fighting fires and are financed by an insurance tax in the state of North Dakota.
This association has been active more or less up to the present time in promoting the general welfare of Ashley and its vicinity. Some of the projects sponsored in full or in port by the Better Ashley Association since its organization are: Lake Hoskins Park and tree planting project. Wild life, fish and game propagation and conservation. Community Celebrations; Highway Improvement; County Fair; Band; Airplane Landing, Field and Markers. Its various officers and committees have been active in representing the interests of the City and community before various Governmental bodies and in co-operating with them. The officers of the organization have been as follows: In 1928 William Hildenbrand, Chairman; August Pohl, Vice Chairman; Fred Fink, Secretary; Edwin George, Treasurer. Martin Ruemmele then served as Chairman for the years 1929-30-31-32, followed by E. H. Maercklein as Chairman for the years of 1933-34 and 35. A. O. Ginnow has been Chairman for the years 1936-37-38. August Pohl served as vice chairman for the years 1928 to 1934 inclusive, to be followed by O. A. Ginnow in 1935, and then E. H. Maercklein in 1936, 37 and 1938. E. E. Gloege served as Secretary in 1929 and in 1930-31-32 A. W. Wentz held the position. E. Oberlander was secretary in 1933 and 1934 to be followed by Emil Bertsch in 1935. Dr. F. Linnenburger was Secretary for the years 1936, 37 and 38. The office of Treasurer was held by J. W. Kinney in 1929 and was turned over to A. H. Kessel for the years 1930-31-32, then Adolf Moench held the office during the years 1933-34 and 35. The present Treasurer is Sam Krause, who has held the office for 1936-37 and 38.
There were 2035 visitors from 9 Feb 2006 to 11 Jul 2011. There were 1830 visitors to the previous site from 18 Jul 2001 to 9 Feb 2006.
© Tim Stowell 2001-2011
Email: Tim Stowell
Last updated: 11 Jul 2011